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Bacolod to Cebu via Don Salvador Travel Guide for First-Timers

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This is a complete travel guide from Bacolod City to Cebu City via Don Salvador for those who haven’t or have yet to experience the trip. To be clear, this is a guide for the land trip by bus but you can still refer to this if you have your own car or motorcycle. I travel regularly on this route as it is the quickest one between the two cities. I don’t like to take the plane because it’s a lot more expensive and I’m not always in a hurry anyway.

For this route, you will ride the bus to San Carlos City, take the boat to Toledo City, then ride the same bus again to Cebu City via Naga City. If you have anything to add to the Bacolod to Cebu via Don Salvador Travel Guide, please comment them below this article. I’ve also added a FAQ section for answers to some questions I usually get.

Don Salvador-San Carlos-Toledo map route
Don Salvador-San Carlos-Toledo map route

Schedule

Bacolod City to Cebu City
Departure Time
1:30 AM
6:45 AM
9:30 AM
12:00 NN
2:00 PM
(Wednesday only)
2:30 PM
(Unavailable on Wednesday)
8:00 PM
9:30 PM

Before you start your trip, please refer first to the schedule above so that you know when you should be at the bus terminal. You can also find this in my Bacolod-Cebu Ceres Bus Schedules article where I list all the different routes and their corresponding schedules and fares. The bus terminal you will be departing from for the Cebu trip is the Bacolod South Bus Terminal located along Lopez Jaena Street.

Please get to the terminal at least 2 hours before your planned departure time especially during long weekends. If you’re planning to travel during Christmas or New Year’s Eve, try to get there at least 4 hours earlier.

Bacolod South Bus Terminal

Bacolod South Bus Terminal Information Desk
Bacolod South Bus Terminal Information Desk

Getting a seat number

When you arrive at the Bacolod South Bus Terminal, head to the yellow information desk where the waiting area is. You can also ask the guards where the buses for Cebu City are. At the information desk, ask the staff if they’ve already given out the bus seat numbers for the trip. If they haven’t yet, then you can take a seat in the waiting area and wait for their announcement. If there’s a line, then line up behind the rest of the passengers.

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Paying the total fare

After you’ve received your seat number, wait until they’ll announce that it’s time to pay for the fare. Do not lose your seat number as you will need to show it upon paying. The total regular fare is ₱585.00 which already includes the ferry boat fare and port terminal fee. There is a discount if you are a student, senior citizen, or PWD. After you’ve paid for the fare and issued a ticket, you’ll just have to wait for your assigned bus.

Lining up at the Bacolod South Bus Terminal for the ticket to Cebu
Lining up at the Bacolod South Bus Terminal for the ticket to Cebu

Take note, however, that there are times that they provide the seat numbers only after you’ve paid the total fare. So don’t be shy to ask around. If the fare you’ve paid for is a little less than ₱585.00, then it could be that the port terminal fee is not yet included.

Fare Breakdown

  • Bus fare – ₱375.00
  • Boat fare – ₱190.00 (Lite Ferries) or ₱195.00 (FastCat)
  • Terminal fee – ₱20.00 (San Carlos Port)
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Traveling to San Carlos

Don Salvador Benedicto

When all the passengers have boarded, the Ceres bus will now depart for San Carlos City. But before you get to San Carlos, you will be passing through Don Salvador Benedicto. During the night and noon trips, the buses will sometimes stop at a diner/eatery in Don Salvador where passengers can eat or go to the restroom. You will only be staying there for 15 minutes so you need to be quick. After the passengers have boarded back, the bus will now continue its trip to San Carlos.

Diner at Don Salvador Benedicto
Diner at Don Salvador Benedicto

Travel Time

  • Bacolod City to Don Salvador – 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Don Salvador to San Carlos City – 1 hour

San Carlos City Port

Port terminal

On your arrival at the San Carlos City Port, the conductor will be giving out the ferry ticket and the terminal fee ticket. These are already included in the ₱585.00 you paid for back at the Bacolod South Bus Terminal. Passengers will then be asked to remember the bus number and to disembark so that all of you can enter the port terminal. You don’t need to bring all your bags just your essentials and gadgets such as your phone, wallet, tablet, laptop, or water bottle. You can’t pick these up later as no one’s allowed inside the bus for the duration of the ferry trip.

San Carlos City Port Passenger Terminal
San Carlos City Port Passenger Terminal

While inside the port terminal, you will need to wait for the announcement that your ferry boat has arrived and is ready for boarding.

Boarding the ferry

Your accommodation depends on the ferry. For Lite Ferries, your assigned accommodation are bunk beds. For FastCat, your assigned accommodation are Economy Class seats. However, the FastCat vessel is two times faster than that of Lite Ferries.

Boarding the Lite Ferries vessel at the San Carlos City Port
Boarding the Lite Ferries vessel at the San Carlos City Port

Before you can board the ferry, you must show your ferry ticket to the crew and write your name on the passenger manifest. If your ferry is Lite Ferries, your ticket will indicate the bed number where you’ll be sleeping. The bunk beds can sometimes be sticky so make sure to wipe it first using tissue or toilet paper. If you’re thinking about your stuff on the bus, don’t worry as the Ceres bus you rode from Bacolod City is just in the same boat as you are. The ferry will now travel to the Toledo City Port.

Bunk beds inside the Lite Ferries vessel
Bunk beds inside the Lite Ferries vessel

Travel Time

The travel time from San Carlos City to Toledo City is 2 hours for Lite Ferries and just 1 hour for FastCat.

Toledo City Port

When you’ve arrived at the Toledo City Port, disembark and wait for your bus outside the ferry boat along with the other passengers. After boarding back on the bus, go back to your seat and check if all your stuff is still there. The conductor will then make a headcount to make sure everyone is accounted for.

Outside the Toledo City Port
Outside the Toledo City Port

Traveling to Cebu City

Toledo Diner/Eatery

On some morning and noon trips, before proceeding to Cebu City, the bus will first make a stop at a diner/eatery in Toledo City for passengers to have breakfast or lunch. You will be stopping for about 20 minutes. After the passengers have boarded back and another headcount, the Ceres bus will now travel to Cebu City via Naga City.

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Travel Time

The travel time from Toledo City to Cebu City is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Arriving at the Cebu City North Bus Terminal

Disembarking the bus at the Cebu North Bus Terminal
Disembarking the bus at the Cebu North Bus Terminal

And that concludes my travel guide from Bacolod to Cebu via Don Salvador as you’ve finally arrived at the Cebu City North Bus Terminal! From the terminal, you can choose to ride a taxi or a jeepney to where you need to go. If you haven’t booked a hotel yet, please check out these discounted hotels in Cebu.

I hope that this guide has helped you in any way. I tried to keep it as detailed as possible based on my personal experience and simple at the same time. Please share this article as it increases my blog’s exposure. See you on my next travel guide!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the whole trip?

For the travel time, the whole trip will take around 8 hours.

What happens if there are no more seats on the bus?

You can choose to go “standing” which is just you standing in the middle of the aisle. Unfortunately, you will still be paying the same fare as those who are sitting down.

Do the buses have comfort rooms inside?

Yes, the buses from Bacolod to Cebu via Don Salvador have comfort rooms. They’re small and cramped but they get the job done.

Are infants or small children free of charge?

Yes, as long as they sit on your lap and not occupy another seat.

Can we bring pets along?

No, you can’t.

Are there other bus routes from Bacolod to Cebu?

Yes, there are actually a total of five bus routes between Bacolod and Cebu being offered by Ceres Liner. You can find the information, such as their schedules and fares, on my Bacolod-Cebu Bus Schedules article.

Are there travel guides for the other bus routes as well?

There are but not for all of them. I can’t create a travel guide for the other routes if I haven’t experienced the trip myself. So maybe in the future.

Published inTravel Guides

32 Comments

  1. Mirasol Mirasol

    Sir do you have any update about the ceres bus schedule Bacolod to Cebu City during this pandemic??

    • Elmer Balbin Jr. Elmer Balbin Jr.

      Sorry no I don’t think there are trips yet for Ceres from Bacolod to Cebu. However, you should contact the LGU in Cebu City to let them know that you’re an LSI and ask them when you’re allowed to travel and how. The LGU is usually the one that sets your travel schedule before they provide you with an Acceptance Letter.

  2. Rusalka Rusalka

    Fast Cat is a better roro than Lite Ferry; cleaner, faster and with better safety standards than the other one (no, I’m not a paid advertiser of Fast Cat – I got the chance to ride in both in different circumstances).

  3. Franz de la Cruz Franz de la Cruz

    Thanks for this. Such a big help especially for solo travelers like me.

  4. Ms Morales Ms Morales

    Thank you so much for your blog..its big help to me since were planning to have our first time trip to camotes island this coming wed. God bless

  5. Erwin Tayhon Erwin Tayhon

    Very Helpful and detailed,Thank you so much Sir..More power..GOD BLESS…:-)

  6. yani yani

    thank you sa imong post mas sayun e byahi after reading your travel guide. question.lng sir does 4 yrs old free of fare?

    • Hi yani. From what I know, children are free as long as they sit on your lap. If they occupy another seat, then you will have to pay for that.

  7. larry bautista larry bautista

    thanks…planning for a trip

  8. Emerald Emerald

    Thank you…first time to travel Visayas….your blog helps….

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